With a unanimous vote August 9, 2018 Maysville (population 8,866) became the tenth Kentucky city to adopt a Fairness Ordinance, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting all LGBTQ people. Situated on the banks of the Ohio River in northeastern Kentucky, Maysville is the hometown of popular singer and actress Rosemary Clooney and George Clooney's father, Nick Clooney.
“We are pleased that Maysville has joined with other progressive cities around the Commonwealth by adopting a Fairness Ordinance,” Mayor David Cartmell said in a statement from the city. “I wish to commend the Human Rights Commission for the dedication and diligence in crafting this legislation.”
"Maysville is honored to join the other Kentucky cities which have recognized the importance and impact of an established Fairness Ordinance," shared Maysville Human Rights Commission Chair Mike Thomas. "Our commissioners and citizens value the rights of all individuals who choose to live, work and visit here, providing a safe and welcoming environment for the present and the future."
"I am so happy to see our city take this step towards helping every resident and visitor feel safe, welcome, and respected. Just because we are a small town doesn't mean we are small minded," Maysville Human Rights Commissioner Ellen Cartmell said after passage of the ordinance.
Maysville joins nine other Kentucky cities with LGBTQ Fairness Ordinances, including Covington (2003), Danville (2014), the state capital Frankfort (2013), Lexington (1999), Louisville (1999), Midway (2015), Morehead (2013), Paducah (2018), and the small Appalachian town of Vicco (2013).
The passage of Maysville's Fairness Ordinance highlights the ongoing effort to pass a similar Statewide Fairness Law that would update Kentucky's Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ people in discrimination protections. Kentucky remains one of 28 states with no such law. While a Statewide Fairness Law has been introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly for nearly two decades, it has only ever received two public hearings without a vote in 2015 and 2016. In 2018, Senate Bill 190 achieved a record number of bi-partisan co-sponsors and will be introduced again in the 2019 Kentucky General Assembly.